2018 Lunar Eclipse & Mars

Credit: ManuelJ
Release Date: August 1, 2018

Technical details:
Samyang 135 F/2 @ F/2.8
Moravian G3 11002 + Astrodon LRGB E series gen 2
Astro Physics 1200

#Astronomy #Space #Science #Earth #Sun #Moon #Mars #MilkyWay #Galaxy #Stars #Lunar #Eclipse #LunarEclipse #LunarEclipse2018 #SolarSystem #Skywatching #Astrophotography #Photography #Art #STEM #Education

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SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch Successful!

Congratulations to Team SpaceX & Elon Musk!
Video: Go to the 29 minute mark to replay the launch!
“Falcon Heavy is the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two. With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb)—a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel—Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost. Falcon Heavy draws upon the proven heritage and reliability of Falcon 9.”

“Its first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.”

SpaceX
Elon Musk
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center
NASA Johnson Space Center

#SpaceX #ElonMusk #Mars #JourneyToMars #NASA #Science #Technology #Engineering #KSC #Kennedy #UnitedStates #History #Apollo #SolarSystem #Exploration #Moon

Orion Above Easter Island


Yuri: “King of the night…Mysterious night on Easter Island in the Southern Pacific. And only statues of moai are always awake, looking into the starry sky. When you are staying next to those giants at night its difficult to describe the atmosphere—its truly incredible and spiritual. Orion constellation as well as Sirius are glowing above illuminating the landscape with bluish soft light. This is the real magic of the Island.”

Easter Island is a Chilean island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle. Easter Island is famous for its 887 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapa Nui people. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park. (Source: Wikipedia)

Credit: Yuri Beletsky
Yuri’s website: https://500px.com/ybeletsky
Location: Easter Island, Chile
Release Date: October 5, 2016

Yuri Beletsky  
UNESCO  

#Astronomy #Space #Science #Stars #Orion #EasterIsland #Easter #Island #Pacific #Ocean #Chile #SolarSystem #Astrophotography #Art #STEM #Education #Isla #Pascua

NASA’s New Horizons Receives Mission Extension to Kuiper Belt


July 1, 2016: Following its historic first-ever flyby of Pluto, NASA’s New Horizons mission has received the green light to fly onward to an object deeper in the Kuiper Belt, known as 2014 MU69. The spacecraft’s planned rendezvous with the ancient object—considered one of the early building blocks of the solar system—is Jan. 1, 2019.

“The New Horizons mission to Pluto exceeded our expectations and even today the data from the spacecraft continue to surprise,” said NASA’s Director of Planetary Science Jim Green. “We’re excited to continue onward into the dark depths of the outer solar system to a science target that wasn’t even discovered when the spacecraft launched.”

Based upon the 2016 Planetary Mission Senior Review Panel report, NASA this week directed nine extended missions to plan for continued operations through fiscal years 2017 and 2018. Final decisions on mission extensions are contingent on the outcome of the annual budget process.

The Kuiper belt is a circumstellar disc in the Solar System beyond the planets, extending from the orbit of Neptune (at 30 AU) to approximately 50 AU from the Sun. It is similar to the asteroid belt, but it is far larger—20 times as wide and 20 to 200 times as massive. Like the asteroid belt, it consists mainly of small bodies, or remnants from the Solar System’s formation. Although many asteroids are composed primarily of rock and metal, most Kuiper belt objects are composed largely of frozen volatiles (termed “ices”), such as methane, ammonia and water. (Source: Wikipedia)

Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI
Release Date: July 1, 2016

NASA New Horizons  
NASA Solar System Exploration  
NASA’s Marshall Center  
NASA Goddard  
JHU Applied Physics Laboratory  
Johns Hopkins University  
Lunar and Planetary Institute  

#NASA #Astronomy #Space #Science #2014MU69 #KuiperBelt #NewHorizons #Pluto #Dwarf #Planet #Spacecraft #JPL
#SolarSystem #MSFC #JohnsHopkins #JHUAPL #APL #STEM
#Education #PlutoFlyby #Exploration #History #SwRI
#SouthwestResearchInstitute

Planetary Solar Transits: Mercury vs. Venus


“In the days before the Mercury transit of May 9, 2016, many images of the Venus Transit of 2012 were published and people were told that the upcoming transit of Mercury would look similar.”

“Well not quite. Mercury has only 40% the diameter of Venus and lies at its nearest point to earth about twice as far away.”

“This means that the disk of Mercury had only 8% the area of Venus and was not visible to the naked eye.”

“While I missed the Venus transit of 2012, I was in a prime position for the 2004 transit and was able to catch it on film—yes, I am that old! I started photography in the film age… :-)”

“This image shows the Mercury transit of 2016, combined with the path of Venus in June 2004. The different size and transit path is obvious.”

Credit: Flickr user Skypointer
Release Date: May 12, 2016

Technical details:
Equipment:
Celestron NexStar 8GPS with Baader solar filter (it was brand new in 2004)

Vintage Pentax camera with Kodak Gold 200 ASA film for the Venus transit
Canon EOS 6D for the Mercury transit

#NASA #Astronomy #Space #Science #Mercury #Venus #Transit #Sun #Solar #Orbit #Earth #SolarSystem #Astrophotography #Art #STEM #Education #Timelapse